Dutch “Plastic Pact” may increase recycling, but it won’t solve the plastic pollution

Dutch “Plastic Pact” may increase recycling, but it won’t solve the plastic pollution

20 februari 2019 Tom Zoete

The Plastic Pact of the Dutch government and 80 plastic producing companies will lead to more efficient recycling, but it won’t solve the plastic waste problem, the Belgian-Dutch environmental ngo Recycling Netwerk Benelux says today.

The Dutch secretary of state responsible for environment, Stientje van Veldhoven (D66, social liberals) presents a Plastic pact concluded with 80 companies on Thursday.

“Every initiative to tackle the plastic problem is welcome. But the voluntary recycling agreements in the pact will only slightly reduce the pollution caused by a plastic production that spiralled out of control”, director Rob Buurman of the Dutch-Belgian ngo says. “The Plastic Pact does not bring the much needed system change to deal with plastics in a different way”.

The target of qualitative recycling of 70% in the pact is ambitious and good. But it should be written in a law, not in a voluntary agreement that cannot be controlled by the government, Buurman says.

All targets of the Plastic Pact aim for 2025. “The Dutch government should make agreements that they can verify in the actual governing period until 2021”, Rob Buurman insists.

The Pact will not lead to less plastic litter or less plastic soup. It encourages so-called bio-based plastics, but these pollute as much as any other plastics.

“These kind of voluntary agreements are too little and too late. We’re in 2019. The Dutch government should urgently make firm legislation to make the plastic producers responsible for all clean-up costs, enlarge the deposit-return system to small plastic bottles, and introduce legally binding reduction targets for plastics, Recycling Netwerk concludes.

Rob Buurman, director Recycling Netwerk Benelux rob.buurman@recyclingnetwerk.org +31 616 40 10 40

Press contact: Tom Zoete, communication Recycling Netwerk Benelux tom.zoete@recyclingnetwerk.org +31 616 10 10 50

Recycling Netwerk is a member of the international Break Free From Plastics-movement.